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Neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system. It can cause painful symptoms, ranging from mild to severe pain. Choosing shoes designed for neuropathy may help people manage pain, avoid injuries and infections, and maintain good balance.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), over 20 million people in the United States have some degree of peripheral neuropathy. The condition can develop slowly or rapidly and affect one nerve or many. It is also a risk factor for falls.

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Neuropathy is a condition that develops when nerves are damaged or destroyed, so signals do not go back and forth properly between the brain and the extremities.

Injuries are the most common cause of damage done to a single nerve, but diabetes is the most common cause of polyneuropathy. According to the NINDS, around 60–70% of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy.

Inflammatory diseases, chronic heavy alcohol use, chemotherapy, and vascular problems can also cause neuropathy.

According to the NINDS, symptoms of neuropathy include:

  • muscle weakness
  • tingling or pins and needles
  • numbness
  • unsteadiness
  • extreme sensitivity

Neuropathy can be a complex condition to treat, and finding the cause is an essential part of the process. Helping people with neuropathy feel more comfortable is also important.

Medications and complementary practices, such as acupuncture, may help with neuropathic pain. Mechanical aids may provide support for those experiencing physical pain or difficulty with movement.

Wearing specially designed shoes may help people walk more evenly and prevent further damage to the feet due to neuropathy.

One of the most important things to look for in shoes for neuropathy is proper fit, especially for people with diabetes.

If the shoe squeezes the foot, a person with neuropathy might not be able to feel the painful sensation, so cuts on the foot can develop and may get infected. The diminished sensation of neuropathy can affect a person’s balance, so good support is necessary to help reduce the risk of falls.

A recent study on diabetic peripheral neuropathy found that wearing shoes that do not fit increases stress on the foot and heightens the risk of developing foot sores.

According to The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, other characteristics to look for in shoes for neuropathy include:

  • strong support
  • cushioning
  • variable widths
  • extra depth
  • arch support
  • insole to distribute pressure

An older study also found that shoes with a rocker-bottom sole can support feet with limited joint mobility.

How we choose products

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available for a range of budgets.
  • Features: Products have a variety of features to suit individual needs.
  • Suitability: Products come in a range of styles and sizes.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Propét Women’s Tour Walker Strap Sneaker

For a removable footbed

These walking shoes are available in six colors and 14 sizes. There is also a choice of five widths.

The company lists several features, including:

  • leather uppers
  • cushioned midsole
  • removable footbed to accommodate custom orthotics
  • adjustable straps
  • wide toe-box

These shoes are also Medicare coded.

Prices range from around $66.64–118.70 on Amazon, depending on the size and color.

Orthofeet Men’s Lava Stretch Knit

For orthotic insoles

These athletic shoes are available in three colors and 13 sizes. There are also three widths from medium to extra-wide.

The company lists several features, including:

  • extra-depth design
  • wide toe box
  • stretchable uppers
  • orthotic insoles
  • ergonomic soles
  • arch support

The company also offers free shipping and returns.

These shoes cost $134.95.

Dr Comfort Women’s Lu Lu

For free shipping

The company states that these shoes are suitable for casual or dress wear. They are available in two colors, four widths, and 16 sizes. The shoes also come with gel inserts.

These shoes may also be helpful for other foot problems, such as arthritis and swelling. Dr Comfort sells footwear designed to help a number of conditions.

People can use a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to pay for the shoes.

The company also offers free shipping and a warranty for up to six months.

The price is $150.

Dr Comfort Men’s Stallion

For a firm heel counter

These shoes come in a moccasin style and are available in two colors. There is also a choice of 17 sizes and three widths.

The company lists several features, including:

  • protective toe box
  • supportive and removable insoles
  • firm heel to provide stability and support

These shoes may be helpful for people with diabetes, plantar fasciitis, or multiple foot and leg injuries. They are also eligible for Medicare reimbursement.

They cost $150.

Skechers Women’s GOwalk Arch Fit – Classic Outlook

For a slip-on style

These slip-on sneakers reportedly feature high-rebound support technology and responsive cushioning to help people walk in comfort.

The company claims that the patented insole system is certified by podiatrists, and the insole is removable.

The shoes are available in two sizes and also feature a leather upper.

The price is $90.

Skechers Men’s After Burn – Memory Fit

For a memory foam insole

These shoes have a memory foaminsole and a shock-absorbing midsole that the company says offers support and flexibility.

They are classified as trainers, so they may be a suitable choice for working out.

The upper is made from a mixture of materials.

These shoes cost $75.

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, people with neuropathy in their feet should check their feet regularly for infection or injury. This is because they may not be able to sense any problems that develop.

Checking feet for infection is particularly important for people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with the condition face a greater risk of developing sores and foot deformities.

Diabetes and injuries are two of the most common causes of neuropathy. Neuropathy may be very painful and disruptive to a person’s life, but it is manageable.

Finding the right shoes for neuropathy can help people feel more comfortable and stay active. People looking for shoes for neuropathy can choose from many helpful options.

A person may wish to speak with a doctor if they are experiencing symptoms of neuropathy. A doctor may be able to provide further information about suitable footwear for neuropathy.